Space Debris -
Steven Stewart

Since 1957, humans have been sending satellites into space. Many of them today are dormant and have collided with one another by mistake. This alone has caused a vast amount of pollution in the Low Earth Orbit. Today, there is an excess of about 128 million pieces orbiting earth that stems from exclusively man-made materials. Essential components of our daily lives such as the internet, food, and travel all rely on satellite technology. With the crowding of in earths orbit, many satellites may be in danger of getting hit and/or destroyed by floating space debris. Although not a burning issue yet, space debris may cause serious problems on Earth in the future if nothing is done to combat it.

How dangerous can it be?

The hardest part about solving the space debris issue is that it is extremely hard to track every last piece. Approximately 99% of debris are between the sizes of 1 millimeter and 1 centimeter. To make it even more difficult, in order to maintain orbit, these objects are traveling at 18,000 miles per hour. Even some of the smallest pieces can cause a significant amount of damage to a potential spacecraft or satellite launched. The infographic I included at the bottom of the page shows the amount of force (in TNT) of flying space debris of various sizes. They are compared to relatable objects on earth, so people can get a better understanding just how frightening it could be if hit by one of these.

How we can “Adapt”

Attitude toward contrast dictates the amount of success in a given situation. Adapting can take many forms, often from sources that are beyond our control. That is why it is important to embrace change in order to grow as people because it is inevitable. Could the issue of excessive space debris effect people's daily lives in the future? We may face changes that could impair our technological systems drastically if nothing is done. This could happen in a relatively quick time frame, so we must be prepared to adjust our method of approach.
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